Haematological profile of anti-retroviral therapy (ART)-naive HIV positive children in Enugu, Nigeria
Background: Haematological complications such as anaemia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia are associated with Human Immunoeficiency Virus (HIV) disease progression and reduced survival. These have been documented to be the second most common cause of morbidity and mortality in infected children. This study sought to assess the haematological parameters in HIV positive Anti-retroviral therapy (ART)-naïve children and compare with the HIV negative children in order to discover ways of maximizing outcomes and value from ART when eventually indicated.
Methods: This was a prospective observational study done in 2016 at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, involving a total of 200 children. Blood samples were collected for full blood count (FBC) and Cluster of Differentiation 4 (CD4) counts. Data generated were analyzed with Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SSPS) version 22.
Results: The prevalence of anaemia was 60% among HIV-infected children. Hemoglobin levels unlike leucocyte and platelet counts were significantly associated with HIV-infection. CD4 count was inversely associated with anaemia. Similarly the incidence of anaemia but not neutropenia and thrombocytopenia was also inversely and significantly associated with the ages of the children.
Conclusion: Anaemia was prevalent among HIV infected children and is inversely associated withCD4 count. Haemoglobin concentration estimations can therefore be considered as one of the criteria for commencement of antiretroviral medications especially in resource poor centers where CD4 count is not readily available.
Keywords: HIV, Antiretroviral therapy naïve, Anaemia, Thrombocytopenia, CD4 count, Children